22 Milliseconds Costs Company $850,000

In a lawsuit reminiscent of the McDonalds Coffee spill case, a jury awarded a family and their son’s estate a total of $850,000 after he was killed from being struck by a line drive during a baseball game. So who you ask was determined to be at fault for the families unquestionable tragic loss?

Despite findings that there were no defects with the bat, the jury still felt that Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the maker of the aluminum bat was to blame because they didn’t properly warn everyone that using their bat could result in a batted ball traveling a few MPH faster than it would have with a wooden bat.

In the verdict read in District Judge Kathy Seeley’s courtroom, the jurors found the company, which makes Louisville Slugger bats, liable for failing to warn users of the danger of its aluminum bats and that this failure caused the accident that killed 18-year-old Patch.


Baseballs hit with aluminum bats, such as the one used in that American Legion game, only give pitchers milliseconds to respond in a defensive stance, the plaintiffs said. Plaintiff’s attorney Joe White said the average time needed by a pitcher to defend a batted ball is 400 milliseconds. Patch had 378 milliseconds to respond, he said.

Guess what, coffee is hot and spilling it in your lap could burn your mommy or daddy bits and standing on a pitching mound 45-60 feet away from someone hitting a ball in your direction can be dangerous no matter what the bat is made from. A great loss for the family for sure but hardly the fault of the bat maker.

At least the lawyers won’t go hungry…

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